Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Top 5 games of 1993

I’ve been a gamer for most of my life, having lived through the third generation of gaming (NES) upwards. Over 25 weeks, I will list my top 5 games from 1990 – 2015. To ensure consistency, here are the rules I will be following
  • I will only write about games I’ve played (which means)
  • Even though I played most of these games a few years after they released, I will stick with the year they were released (otherwise this list will be all over the place)
  • Some games may have been released at different times for different regions. When this happens, I will use the year related to the version I’ve played
  • Due to the second rule, it does mean I won’t be able to list gems like Super Mario Brothers and Circus Charlie
This week I will highlight 1993.
Battletoads and Double Dragon (NES/ Mega Drive)
Videogame crossovers are very popular, with Smash Brothers, Marvel vs Capcom and Kingdom Hearts bringing together beloved IPs (usually to beat each other up). Battletoads and Double Dragon is widely considered as the granddaddy of crossovers and is probably the first major crossover game. Battletoads were created by Rare (of Goldeneye fame) as a response to the green behemoth known as TMNT, adding the two belligerent brothers to the  mix (and their associated enemies) was like adding chocolate pieces to vanilla ice-cream. The more chocolate you add, the better it tastes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (NES/SNES/Mega Drive)
So this is the third week in a row that I’ve highlighted a TMNT game, which is testament to what a huge fan I was. Perhaps it’s a generational thing. TMNT: Tournament Fighters was an above average fighting game (nothing spectacular like the game below). What was remarkable was that Konami developed three different versions (NES, SNES and Mega Drive) with different characters for each one. They didn’t call it console exclusives or anything – it was what it was. To be fair, this slot should have went to Mortal Kombat 2, which went on to become quite an iconic title in its own right. I just have fonder memories of TMNT: Tournament Fighters.
Super Mario All-Stars (SNES)
Super Mario All-stars is an anthology of arguably the three best NES games of all time, and Super Mario Bros 2. The original Super Mario Bros is timeless. It’s the only game I’ve played every single year for the past two decades (It’s like Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak before Brock Lesnar crushed our collective childhoods). Super Mario Bros 3 was voted the best game of all time by IGN, and Super Mario Bros: The lost levels added new levels that weren’t available outside of Japan. What made these games special was that they were remasters done right, upgrading the visuals for the 16-bit era. I have yet to meet a gamer who has not played Super Mario Bros, but if you are reading this, then it is absolutely criminal if you do not play this game.
aladdinAladdin (Mega Drive)
By now you should have a fairly decent hold on what I enjoy, and it shouldn’t surprise you that a licenced platformer makes the list. I was a huge Aladdin fan growing up (well, huge Disney fan, but that’s about as remarkable as having an e-mail address so I shouldn’t bother highlighting it). You tend to overlook the stereotypes when you’re a kid (the pastiche of commodified cultures all thrown together like an oriental biryani). Aladdin was a great game that hit all the spots. Interesting fact – it’s the third-best selling mega drive game after Sonic 1 and 2.
Samurai Shodown
Japanese fighting games were all the rage back in the early nineties. Street Fighter opened the doors for a multitude of variations on the old ‘beat someone to a pulp’ mechanic. Samurai Shodown stood out for me because it focused on weapons. Samurai Shodown was not only critically acclaimed (winning multiple ‘game of the year’ awards), it was also quite authentic (although now that I think about some of the characters, I’m not so sure). This was probably the spiritual ancestor to games like Soul Calibre. Like all fighting games, I completely ignored the main dude (I will cheer for my own guy thank you).
So these are my top five games that were released in 1993. Join me next Tuesday as I go through my favourite games from 1994. Leave a comment and let me know which were your favourite games from the nineties.

No comments: